What is a cat’s natural diet?
Defined as “obligate carnivores,” a cat’s natural diet consists of the flesh of animals. Thus, as carnivores, they depend on the nutrients present in animal flesh for their dietary and nutritional needs. Wild cats eat small rodents, small birds and insects and reptiles. Their choice of prey includes mice, shrews, rats, sparrows, robins, spiders, grasshoppers, lizards and snakes. While known to feed on larger animals, cats tend to hunt and feed on animals smaller than themselves. Furthermore, wild cats do not eat any plant-based materials. Due to physiological reasons, cats are unable to digest plant materials such as rice, potatoes or any other fruit and vegetables. Moreover, cats eat their prey whole, consuming feathers, skin, muscle and bone.
What should I feed my cat?
When planning your cat’s diet, it’s important to remember the precise nutrients it requires:
1 – Protein from meat or fish
2 – Amino acids, such as taurine and arginine
3 – Fatty acids
4 – Vitamins
5 – Minerals
6 – Water
You may have noticed the absence of carbohydrates from the list. Of course, this is no mistake. As indicated above, cats require a primarily protein- or meat- based diet. Although your cat may enjoy a small amount of carbohydrates, they are not essential. Secondly, it’s important to consider your cat’s age, size and weight to determine portion sizes. Obesity in cats is common and can significantly reduce your pet’s lifespan. Thirdly, a good balance of both dry and wet high-quality commercial cat food is your best option. Wet cat food will ensure an adequate amount of hydration for your cat, while dry cat food is good for oral hygiene and health. Cats can also consume natural raw foods, however, always ensure it is served fresh and that your cat can safely chew bones.
Stay tuned for more cat feeding tips!